In-Person Events Are Back
Meet With Mexican and Latin American Buyers
By Linda Spencer
Mexico’s expected economic growth rate in 2021 has just been revised upward as Latin America’s second-largest economy, along with the surrounding region, has begun to recover from the sharp downturn caused by COVID-19. While experts predict that the regional economies won’t fully recover until 2022, the quickening pace of the upturn is good news. As the region begins to reopen, U.S. suppliers looking to connect with Mexican and Latin American trade buyers can do so at two upcoming events: the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November, and the INA PAACE Automechanika Show in December.
With air travel now permitted between the two countries, Americans can travel to the 2021 INA PAACE Automechanika Show, which is Latin America’s largest trade-only show featuring the automotive aftermarket. It will be held this year at a special time and location: December 1–3, in the San Luis Potosí Convention Center in San Luis Potosí, Mexico (about 260 mi. north of Mexico city).
San Luis Potosí is easily accessible and is a hub for various automotive plants, including General Motors and BMW, along with more than 250 Tier 1 suppliers. In 2022, the show will revert to its usual summer schedule at Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City, Mexico.
U.S. suppliers can also meet buyers from Mexico and Latin America without even leaving the United States at the in-person 2021 SEMA Show, to be held November 2–5. The event will feature a special Latin America roundtable on Monday, November 1, before the Show opens.
Mexico is home to a wide range of enthusiasts whose interests run from track, street and off-road racing to classic-car events. Daniel Garcia Solis of V8 Magazine, which features classic cars, noted that he has participated in INA PAACE Automechanika for many years to promote the magazine and contact new fans and collectors of classic cars.
“Every year, we also put a car in a SEMA booth at INA PAACE Automechanika,” he said.
He noted that “the enthusiasm for having a car 30, 40 or more years old that is very well preserved or restored really resonates in Mexico. It will surely be a passion for many generations after our time.”
He also noted that more readily available vaccines have resulted in an explosion of classic and collectible car congregations during the first half of the year.
“Surely by 2022, we will have a return to 100% of musclecar enthusiasts,” he said.
He added that, as with many hobbies and sectors, it has been difficult getting parts into Mexico, including from the United States, due to closed borders, closed nonstrategic activities, and bans on gatherings. However, as the peak of the contagion passes, buying, selling and searching for accessories has started to resume.
“Last year was a pretty difficult year,” said Manuel Alvarez, president of Big Country. “The market was pretty much shut down for three or four months, but we continued to supply our customers throughout last year. One of the things we discovered was a tremendous increase in consumers discovering or rediscovering the outdoors as restaurants and movie theaters closed down.”
He added that there was an uptick in anything having to do with going off-road and camping. Sales for the company’s own brands of Go Rhino and Big Country, as well as the well-known international brands it distributes throughout Mexico (including the Truck Hero product lines, Warn, Rigid and ARB, among others)doubled and tripled.
“Our e-commerce sales have increased 30%,” Alvarez added, and he noted that sales at the company’s two brick-and-mortar accessory shops that provide full installation services in Guadalajara and Mexico City have grown exponentially.
As for off-road events, Alvarez said that everything had been canceled in 2020 but is all on once again this year. Big Country sponsors the BOSCO jamborees, and its products are used on the event vehicles. In addition, the world-famous SCORE Baja 1000 will be held November 15–20, and will run from Ensenada to La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Mexico is also home to an F1 race. The Mexican Grand Prix will be held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City the last weekend in October. Mexican drivers have reached the top echelon of racing with Sergio Pérez Mendoza, nicknamed “Checo,” winning the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing. Mexico is also home to the 12-race NASCAR Peak Mexico Challenge Series.
As 2021 sees the resumption of motorsports events, the wide array of businesses supplying products to support these popular pastimes are busier than ever.
For more information on the INA PAACE Automechanika show, contact email@example.com or visit https://ina-paace-automechanika-mexico-city.us.messefrankfurt.com. For more information on the SEMA Show, visit www.SEMAShow.com or the article “Reconnecting Globally and in Person at the 2021 SEMA Show” in the July issue of SEMA News on www.semanews.com.
Selected Light-Truck Sales, Mexico 2018–2020
*2018 figures include Ram 1500-4000. Source: INEGI, BestsellingBlogs